Matt Lauer signs long-term deal to stay on the 'Today' show, report says
Matt Lauer doesn't have to worry about Ryan Seacrest taking over his job just yet.
Lauer signed a long-term deal to remain as co-host of the "Today" show, according to the New York Times. NBC News president Steve Capus confirmed the deal to the newspaper saying, "Matt is the franchise, and our franchise player has decided to keep leading our team."
The financial details of the deal were not disclosed and Capus referred to the media reports of the money as "complete silliness." Lauer has co-hosted the NBC morning series since 1997 and his contract was set to expire in December.
On Wednesday, Ryan Seascrest appeared on the "Today" show and 54-year-old Lauer addressed rumors that the "American Idol" host could replace him.
Lauer asked Seacrest "Do you see yourself doing a job like this?"
"I don't know," Seacrest said. "I see you doing this for as long as you want to do. Maybe the question is how long will you be on the 'Today' show? Because fans, and myself included, think you should be here for years to come."
News of Lauer's commitment to the "Today" show comes on the heels of a ratings war between the "Today" show, which has dominated the ratings for years, and "Good Morning America," which has closed the ratings lead and had former "Today" show co-host Katie Couric guest co-host the show for this week.
The "Today" show has seen several casting changes. Katie Couric left the show in 2006 after co-hosting it for 15 years to become an evening news anchor on CBS. She joined ABC last year and on Monday began a week-long co-hosting stint on the network's daytime series "Good Morning America," the "Today" show's rival program. She is set to host her own talk show in September.
Meredith Vieira left the "Today" show in 2011 after five years. Ann Curry took over for her, while Vieira returned to the series for a surprise guest appearance on Monday.